More than a year after its landmark verdict granting permanent commission to Indian military women serving on the short-duty commission, the Supreme Court, in an interim order allowed female candidates to appear Entrance to the National Defense Academy (NDA) exam scheduled for September 5.
In declaring that the “political decision” to prohibit women from being admitted to the NDA “is based on discrimination based on sex”, a court of judges SK Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy asked the government “to have a constructive opinion on the matter”, and He referred to the judicial ruling of February 17 of last year that authorized a permanent commission of women officers.
The court heard a petition from attorney Kush Kalra, requesting instructions to allow eligible female candidates to sit for the NDA and Naval Academy exams conducted by the Union Civil Service Commission (UPSC).
The Judicial Branch asked the UPSC to issue a correction in accordance with its provisional directive and to “make it known so that the intention of the order is fulfilled.” He said, however, that the admission of candidates will be subject to the final outcome of the petition.
“Why are you continuing in this direction? Even after Judge Chandrachud’s trial broadened the horizons and extended the permanent commission in the army to women? That seems absurd to us,” the judiciary told Attorney General Aishwarya Bhati , who was presented by the Ministry of Defense.
On February 17 last year, a court of judges DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi asked the government to ensure that female Short Service Commission officers receive a permanent commission in the military, including command posts.
“Will the military act only when a court order is issued and not otherwise?” Judge Kaul asked. He said his impression of his time in Superior Court was that the military does not believe in doing things voluntarily, but only acts after a sentence is passed.
Judge Kaul said that even in the case of the standing committee, the military “continued to oppose it” and did not act until the orders were issued. He said that “the navy and air force are more open,” while “the military seems to have a bias not to implement.”
Denying any bias, the ASG said that there are three ways to recruit officers into the military: NDA, Officer Training Academy (OTA) and Indian Military Academy (IMA), and women are eligible to enter through IMA and OTA.
“Why is gender diversity a problem?” Judge Kaul asked, adding that “the effort is to persuade the military to do things themselves rather than give us orders.”
When the ASG said it was part of a “political decision”, Judge Kaul noted that “the political decision is based on discrimination based on sex.”
“Although it is a matter of politics, women are allowed in through two sources. Why should I say that an additional source of entry is closed to women? It is not only a gender principle, but also discrimination in other places, ”Judge Roy said.
The ASG said the NDA involved a different type of training, but the bank noted that women can now take on combat roles as well. Bhati said that while female fighter pilots were allowed into the air force, only ten branches of the army had been opened to them.
Stating that the Navy and Air Force seemed more liberal about it, the court said: “The mindset is not just changing. The attorney general who appeared before the Superior Court in the standing committee case was unable to persuade the military. Subsequently, the Supreme Court also provided many opportunities but this did not materialize. Also in law it has not regularized them. He kept them for many years and never gave a permanent commission ”.
The court asked the government to “start with some symbolic measure” and not force judicial intervention at all times. In stating that the court “may not understand all the complex technical aspects of your structure,” the court said that “you are in a better position to appreciate it.” Recruiters “must understand” the general principle of gender neutrality “and adapt it according to their particularities,” she said.
Meanwhile, sources in the Army said discussions to allow women into the NDA were on even before the Supreme Court’s interim order today.